Another lovely sonic story time collaboration! Enjoy!
Alessandro Muresu –
You can explore my other audio recordings of various length and content at the links below-
Another lovely sonic story time collaboration! Enjoy!
Alessandro Muresu –
You can explore my other audio recordings of various length and content at the links below-
I don’t remember the exact year that Maggie came into my life. She was a childhood dog. I think I must have been nine or ten; My first childhood dog Pepper, was reaching up there in age and I suppose my parents thought it was a good idea to bring in another dog so the death transition wasn’t too traumatic for young children who had their mother die.
There is no way I would ever be thinking about this if it wasn’t for the here and now, and the timeless nature of things.
Okay, so, Maggie was a Brittany Spaniel my folks picked up from the local shelter. She was young and energetic… she really liked to jump up on people, which is an “unwanted behavior”. I was at an age where I had to perform chores for an allowance, and one of those chores was picking up dog shit. I would try and have fun with Maggie as I cleaned up the dog yard. One of the things I would do is try and get her to not jump up on me, that is like dog 101.
Maggie didn’t have a super long life. She died in my New Kids On the Block blanket, it was my prized possession about the time she came into our life. It seemed right she passed on in it.
I didn’t realize that I have been working with her too. I never thought of her as “my dog.” I wasn’t allowed to even if I wanted to. She was a “family dog.” Probably so that my brother and I didn’t argue about such nuance. I’ve literally been picking up animal poop in some capacity for the last 28 years. You only do that stuff for true love, and in return, a true Love will try and make that as easy on you as possible if they are aware of how you struggle with it.
Maggie knew that I thought picking up crap was horrible, but I think she also sensed my magic and imagination tied to the desire to try and make a miserable task bearable. True durability of connection.
When I was a kid, I wanted an animal of my own SO BAD! I wanted something that was my own that I loved deeply. When I finally was able to do that- the situation was so weird.
I rescued a meat rabbit from the neighbors. They had hired me to feed their animals while they were out of town and I fell for one of their rabbits. So my dad built a hutch and I was able to have this Hunny Bunny. She was reddish and had a black accent and this little bald mole spot above and to the side of her right eye. It was that spot that made me want her.
Our relationship didn’t work out. She definitely needed more attention, and she had to sleep outside in the hutch all of the time. It isn’t the way I would treat a bunny. But my parents were more about having domestic “outside” animals and rules for things like that. I wanted to cuddle with furballs.
I remember telling my dad that the rabbit was getting vicious and we needed to send it back to nature so we let her go down by a pond near our house… where I didn’t think she would last very long. And that is what we did… we gave her back to nature.
I now see Hunny in Quantum Dream Cat. So this story isn’t going to stop. If animals are here to assist us in being elevated humans, I am full on board. I am listening.
I don’t remember how I felt with Maggie passing on the couch, in my blanket. Once she started seizing, my parents made us leave.
I’ve been well acquainted with death while also dealing with it many times over my lifetime from an early age.
Claddagh was my first real experience with it all suddenly and first hand with extreme emotional attachment. Everything else has been leading up to facing that moment and knowing that “The End” is never REALLY “The END.”
Again I will say, I am so full of love right now. This is quite the experience. It is certainly meant to be shared and understood for the vastness that it is. This Truth swept beneath rugs meant to accumulate sorrows. It is hard to talk about because it is hard to conceptualize that the whole thing is one beautiful conversation with All That Is.
These gifts, despite tragic ends, are proof of that which is hard to speak.
It is Tuesday night. Journey has had two full days with me.
Here, I am going to compile a list of similarities that I have seen in her that I knew to be distinctive Claddagh traits and other interesting synchronizations that I have observed. It is like Claddagh 2.0… maybe this is what happens when you get animals near Roswell…
I mean, you can take it or leave it… but why would you want to, if you know that your reality is bigger and better and more amazing than you are taught to believe? Why?
I constantly talk about my dedication to Creation, all of this is confirmation of my faith and trust in the extraordinary. Extra Ordinary. There is still more to be explored.
I suffer the affliction of the heart. At times how to express it. This contract with this animal soul allows me to channel it and stay grounded. She isn’t just a “pet”.
‘Claddagh’ is the Irish wedding band. Hands holding a heart with a crown. You can show if you are taken or not by its position. It stands for “Love, Loyalty, and Friendship” the circular band is Infinity. When I finally knew what Claddagh’s name was, I was committed 100% for FOREVER past the Apocalypse. I know it sounds crazy… but look at the times we are living in.
My soul has work to do and I can’t do it without that companionship.
For more info watch the link: Animals and the Afterlife with Jennie Taylor Martin
In December, it happened- all of the scrolling through FB pages looking for the “perfect dog” while daily breaking my own heart looking at all those fur balls that need furever homes- I finally saw her.
I knew it from her eyes. No picture of any dog spoke to me like this one did. She had recently been posted for rescue, and I wanted to be first on the list. So late that night, I filled out an application with magnanimous amounts of hope and love brewing within my soul. When I looked at this picture, I knew that I knew this dog even though she was rescued 622 miles away. Then I looked at her number. The last four digits are the same as my SSN. Weird right? Not to me- just a sign of synchronicity to come.
Over the course of the next day, my application was put into the process, but Nina (as they called her) was tagged by a rescue based in the Colorado Springs area with fosters all across the Front Range. Usually, they don’t deal with interested fosters this far North because they don’t have many connections in the area to make transports easier.
Perfect timing was that application was filled out right before Christmas and most people were entrenched in their holiday plans, making transport a bit more complicated. At first, I thought it would only be a few days before she would head my direction, but after further assessment, they realized she is not spayed and had kennel cough. They would be unwilling to do surgery until the cough was cleared up… So, my baby had to sit in quarantine for a few days until she was cleared for surgery. I was told it could be a couple of weeks.
It was fine. I was willing to be patient. Patience comes easy when you are sure it is The One. I wanted to make sure that she was healthy enough to travel and if we had to wait a little longer, then it would be worth it.
Finally last week she was cleared for transport. She would be here Sunday, January 13, 2019.
In the weeks leading up to Nina’s transport, I began a process of talking to her through my psychic centers, just like I use to with Claddagh. I told Nina about my home life, the people in it and my other pet friends. I told her about the expectations I have for a calm house life. I told her about Claddagh and how much she meant to me. I told her, that I would be her last spot. I am her Home.
Every night before falling asleep I would tell the kitteries about our new friend. And, as I drifted to slumber I would send all the healing love energy to this new but suffering companion.
Jump back to 2007, when Claddagh came into my life. I was living with friends in Gilpin, Colorado. Friends who are on a higher wavelength when it comes to spiritual discussions and how spiritual dynamics affect our reality. Friends who, themselves are animal lovers.
During one of the animal discussions, the topic of animal reincarnation was brought up because even at first I was afraid of losing Claddagh. I was already preparing for her death in my psyche. This is when my friend Lindy started talking about animal reincarnation and soul companions in the form of pets.
That we contract with the souls of animals for lessons and companionship in learning those lessons. That once we fell in love with an animal it was imparted with a Soul Personality. Given the duration of life is much shorter for an animal, their Souls are allowed to return in different bodies if the contract is still active.
I always felt like I would be with Claddagh forever and ever, amen. I certainly didn’t feel like our contract was up when I had to say “good-bye.”
In spiritual communities it is talked about that animal reincarnation can take one of three forms. The soul being born into the body; the soul “walking into” a body that is already established in the world, and Soul Braiding.
Soul Braiding is when say a dying animal Soul contracts with another animal soul that is living. They contract to share a body and a personality in order to continue the initial soul contract with the human the first animal Soul was tied to. Essentially the living animal Soul agrees to bind with the dying animal Soul and facilitate a continuation of where things left off.
Far left, right? Totally fucking Woo-woo, right?
I don’t think so.
Due to a scheduling conflict, I was unable to pick up Nina from transport and I had to arrange for someone else to bring her to me. I noticed my dad was working near Fort Collins that day, and I offered a homemade quiche for help in the matter. I asked him because the last time Claddagh disappeared, my dad arrived at the shelter before I did in order to help locate her. He also said to me “Mandie, you need to get another dog.” I figured if he was a strong advocate, then he would be of excellent assistance for uniting me with my newest friend. Plus he really likes dogs, and I think they know that about him.
Finally, around 8:20pm they walk through the door. Nina is apprehensive as all get out. Her tail curled between her back legs, even when sitting down. She was easy under my dad’s control of the thin leash. She wasn’t sure about me. She wasn’t sure of anything except that she was comfortable with my dad. Ha! The man was worried she wouldn’t like him, and now she was thinking that she was supposed to leave with him… Sorry, puppers, you are staying with me.
After my dad left, she wandered around looking for him. Going back to the front door and just standing there giving little whines.
My pupception tells me that Soul Braiding began sometime between November of 2017 when Quantum adopted me, and March 2018 when the kittens were born. I also assume this is when the slow-growing tumor began on Claddagh’s heart. Claddagh being 100% Love, wasn’t going to leave me stranded and alone. And in fact, the cats were the best support in my mourning.
Nina, in my estimation in between 9 months and a 1.5 years old, and seems to me that she is part of the timeline. This is why the process for her to come to me, despite the distance, has perfectly aligned.
The piece of Claddagh’s Soul that is in this Nina, began to wake up on the drive with my dad. She sensed a familiarity that was safe.
After he left, I let her wander around the house and check everything out. Then she snuggled up on the sleeping bag in the garage and I read to her my Letter to my Future Dog. As I did, she stared at me. Giving me direct eye contact, which took Claddagh years to become confident enough to do. And we just stared at each other, me with tears in my eyes catalyzed by the overwhelming love and familiarity that I was feeling.
Shortly after that, she began to unfurl. Her tail still seemingly timid in its expression, was now starting to go outward, instead of under. When before she wasn’t interested in coming to me, now all of a sudden she wanted to be right by my side.
There were some tests. I kept taking her outside, hoping she would go… but it was still overwhelming her. She came back in, and I ran inside to put Gma to bed. When I came back out there was a very fresh and large pile of poop on the concrete floor. Claddagh would never make a mess on the carpet if there was an option, and that wasn’t something that I taught her, just like she would never poop on a trail.
I notice the poop, and Nina notices me notice the poop and she hunches into herself again, acting as if she will get reprehended. Instead, I got excited! It looked like really healthy poop, and I was happy to know that she was able to clear her bowels. I told her good job, cleaned up the mess and put down some enzymes so she knows that isn’t the location for that in the future. She unfurls, even more, it’s confirmed she “Is a Good Girl.” She need not worry about abuse for mistakes or accidents. Her comfort comes out in abounding waves.
We stay up until 4:30 in the morning, playing a sort of “getting to know you.” But do you know what she wants most of all? Just to be cuddled with me. When we finally went to bed, she was right there in the bed with me, like it’s been forever.
Today, she was a completely different animal from when she walked through the door. We went on a car ride, and she is perfect. We went to the feed store and she was perfect. She is observing the other animals and people, and still showing some timidness, but also a sort of excitement… she wants them to like her.
Quantum isn’t impressed with me currently and I think it’s because I relocated her and Capricious downstairs while we figure out introductions and dynamics. I think in a week everything will go into a normal routine and the kitteries can come back up to my room and we can live like the weird little family that we are.
Current things that have happened in the last less than 24 hours that give me confidence in Soul Braiding;
1. When I ask her for a hug, she puts her paws on my knees. When I say full hug, she brings her paws to my shoulders, and we give a full hug.
2. She wants to hold hands while driving.
3. Her favorite spot is right next to me, regardless.
Those three things were a daily component of living with Claddagh for almost eleven years. How is it this timid dog just walked right into that alignment without me asking her to?
The answer is The Soul Knows.
I’d like to introduce my new best friend; Journey.
It is almost one month since I put Claddagh down.
That phrase is so gross to me; “Put them down.”
My dog was already a submissive… she was “put down” in many ways in her early life. I am still disgusted at it all.
But, you know what? I will only talk about it here. I bombarded FB for the first two weeks with my pain… and now in modern decorum I will pretend it doesn’t rip me apart on the inside. Oh, geez, am I following the steps of my forefathers, who chose to sweep inconvenient truths under the proverbial rug?
People don’t know how to mourn, these days. Our fast paced society urges us to “get over it and move on” as quickly as possible. We treat ourselves like processed food with defined expiration dates that serve as suggestions. You might be cool eating an out of date yogurt at your own house, but if a host of some other house offers the same thing, you cringe.
“Keep it in house.”
See, I don’t feel like I am allowed to mourn my dog companion for more than a couple of weeks. It isn’t allowed to break me, because their life expectancy is so much shorter than ours, and I should have known better.
I don’t feel like I can allow Claddagh to be the portal in which my previous pain, loss and suffering is filtered through. I just don’t feel like I have permission to fully feel, even though people say “take your time” and “feel it fully.”
I don’t feel permission because I am always trying to integrate and get along, and no one likes a Debby Downer, or a Miserable Mandie. I don’t feel permission because the extent of the pain is mine, alone to bare.
After day three, I told myself, “You HAVE to stop crying. You HAVE to buck up. No one cares as much as you do about it, and no one wants to hear about it.”
If you make it a mantra, I guess it makes it easier to adhere to, just through repetition.
If left to my own devices, I look out the door and say “All I really want is my dog.” And I imagine what that looks like, only to further upset the state of my heart.
Honestly, I don’t care if I upset you if I end up crying in reminiscence of my dog; but because I am empathetic, and I know you don’t want to hear it, I will self censor. I am not looking for your pity or sympathy…. I know you don’t know exactly what to say and it may be uncomfortable for you, that every topic you excavate leads back to me and my dog.
I am sure it is annoying, or at least uncomfortable.
I’m sorry, but I’m not.
I suppose if you don’t know what to do in the awkwardness, just smile. Know that I experienced a facet of love in life that I would have otherwise avoided, and that in and of itself, is bound to make me a better person in the long run.
I know she wasn’t as interesting to you, as she was meaningful and profound to me, and that is okay… but try not to sweep her memory away in your urgency to bring me back to whatever you feel is your self perceived center. I will take my time, and I require no rush on your end, for it will not bring any benefit.
She was “my girl”, ya know? I don’t even know if I am allowed to use the same distinct whistle if I find a new dog friend… I feel bad for chiding my cats with her same belly rub rhyme. Things are flowing into each other with my other animal friends, where it once was distinct and individual.
And I liked that, ya know? When her whistle was our whistle and not like any of the other whistles that were common for the other animals we mutually knew.
I kinda wish I got a Chilton manual on how to deal with this,or a “When your Dog Dies for Dummies” book, even though I know, internally all I need to know.
Life cycles are beautiful, until you see the shame in loss. My dog should have lived forever… I mean, that is how I feel. I never thought about getting another one, even though at times I thought about re-homing her due to my own personality flaws.
I’m looking at rescue dogs, trying to find a face I recognize. Not Claddaghs’ face, per say… just a face that feels familiar in the rustic part of my being that is perfectly adapted to animal companionship. I know it will happen when it is meant to… if it is meant to.
No worries here. I just miss her so damn much and rightly so.
Yesterday I was numb. My mind was empty. I did a lot of pacing. I used what mental strength I had to imagine kissing the black spot on Claddagh’s head, right where the third eye sits. I imagined the way her hair spread across her face, and in what position she may be laying depending on where I was looking.
There is a ghost in my mind, that I am trying to materialize, and I know that it’s futile.
A recent acquaintance asked if I would like to go hiking tomorrow. My folks suggested I take a few days and go to the mountains and write, or to at least take a walk. At the moment I can’t bare the thought of going back to nature without my nature buddy. I mean, what would I even do once I got there? Deep down I know that nature is my solace and I feel at most peace in the mountains. I know that when I get there it will be hard to think about this pain in the same way that I am currently thinking about it, surrounded by the reminders of this ordinary life we had been living.
Who will keep me warm at night, if I choose to camp? Who will I share my meal with once that big meaty steak is done cooking over the open flame? Who will alert the bears and beasts that we are peacefully sharing the space of nature for a few days? Who will alert me when something suspicious- this way comes?
I know that I never really thought of Claddagh as “protective”, there was never any real reason for her to have to step into that role, and I really feel like she trusted me to be the protector. When I think of going back to nature for long periods of time without her, I feel a sense of fear, despite the seemingly carefree nine years I was roaming and camping on my own before she came into my life. I became incredibly comforted by her company.
When we were on our three month camp out, she wandered away from the camp site enticed by the smell of horse manure on the near by trails. Frantically I called her back. I walked around calling her and eventually I her her sharp cries in the distance. I kept calling and walking until I honed in on her howl. I found a distant campsite with a van and a tent. Claddagh was tied to a tree with a rope, and an old drunk Native man sat on a near by camping chair.
I asked him why he had my dog tied to the tree, she was obviously responding to my calls. The man said nothing, so I angrily walked to the tree and untied the rope. Claddagh and I walked by to our site, side by side.
Claddagh was always more fun to walk with off-leash. She was really good about either walking right by my side, or running up ahead about twenty feet and then stopping and waiting to for me to catch up. I use to enjoy playing statues with her. She would run up ahead and just as she would turn around, I would freeze in position. I would hold it until she ran back to me to see why I wasn’t moving, and then I would just resume walking and we would do it all over again.
Nature was a big playground for us to make up games. Sometimes we were treasure hunters. Sometimes we were ninja’s. Sometimes I would just trust her to take the lead in order to see where we ended up. We stumbled on old graveyards, abandoned buildings, and perfect bubbling streams.
A few years ago we went out and my car battery died. We walked the long dirt road back to Happy Jack and just hoped that some one would help. Happy Jack looked desolate and the weather was turning dark and stormy. Just as we approached the asphalt a big green truck drove by and I started waving frantically. They pulled over and turned around. Two kindly older gentlemen were in the cab. They worked for Game and Fish and were happy to assist me and Claddagh. We hopped in the back seat and they drove us back to the site and proceeded to jump my car.
I started packing up, and shared my last two Red Stripe beers with the men, who had never heard of Red Stripe before. They gave Claddagh some treats, and were on their way.
It’s like I’ve always had “Angel Power”, but Claddagh amplified it. We had double Angel Power between the both of us and often times it felt like things turned out the best for both of us, because she was there. I think people subconsciously know that the way a dog acts, says a lot about the owner. If you feel you can trust the dog, you can probably trust the owner.
More than once we were invited to stay with strangers who ended up being wonderful hosts. It takes a special kind of person to invite an unknown person with a dog into their home, around their children. We were blessed to have those kinds of experiences.
Claddagh and I didn’t go on many group camp outs. One of the last ones was July 4th, probably four years ago now. There was a rather large group of us, and almost everyone had a dog. I was so proud of Claddagh getting along with everyone. There was one dog, belonging to a friend, who was younger and less adapted than the rest of the dogs in the group. He really wanted to get to Claddagh, and it was slightly problematic, yet she wasn’t giving into violence. I was hoping that we were entering a new maturity phase where it might be easier to be around more dogs without causing anxiety.
I was able to see that play out a couple of times as home, when an occasional lost dog would end up in our yard. If they were friendly and tagged I would bring them into the back yard until I could figure out where they lived. Claddagh would casually share the back yard, peeing on their pee, sniffing what the guest would sniff. One time, a guest dog was super playful, and they ran around together, playing for the fifteen minutes it took for the dog’s family to arrive.
In all reality, I felt safer having Claddagh with me. I haven’t really tested my fears in recent years, and it’s a scary prospect at re-exploring that side of me that has been dormant. I’m not sure how I will be able to step back into it.
The idea to go camping came up a few weeks ago, and I really did want to go with Claddagh, but what I said was “If I go up to the mountains, I’m not going to want to come back down.” That is really how I felt, that if we were to go back up there, that, that is where we would want to stay forever. It’s like going back to the place you had a honeymoon, only you are returning solo. All the magic that place may have held is no longer the same place. You feel a haunted feeling, you see the ghosts of the past at every turn. You turn to comment on the scene only to realize you are talking to yourself.
I was a dog owner for just short of eleven years. I’ve lived a decade immersed in that mentality. Where I go, my dog goes. If my dog isn’t welcome, I probably don’t want to be there. I ditched out on parties early, avoided certain places all together, all for the sake of companionship.
Sometimes Claddagh would hang out in the car if I wanted to make an appearance at some event where she either wasn’t welcome, or I knew would have too many dogs and give her anxiety. I would pop out every half hour and spend about fifteen minutes with her, eventually, most times cashing out early and going home. Every once in a while it would be a late night in good company in calm environments with people who adored her and her dog friends around. Those were the good ole days.
I knew I had to be friends with the people who had dogs that got along well with Claddagh. Introductions were always the most awkward for her. Dog protocol is all about the butt sniff. Claddagh wasn’t having it. Anytime a new dog got near her posterior she would growl, effectively telling them to “fuck off. ” If the dog interested in her, could let the desire to sniff go for the amount of time it would take for Claddagh to get comfortable, they could then get close enough to take some sniffs and walk away to give her space before doing another cruise by.
Claddagh always had anal gland issues, though they seemed to be less bothersome in our last two years that were dominated by a diet change. I wonder if she was insecure because of the glandular build up. Maybe it was just sore. In the beginning I thought maybe she had been tapped by another dog and there was trauma there, but that could just be my wild imagination.
It’s strange to think that we surround ourselves with living beings, daily, and yet we don’t really give them much thought once we get comfortable with their presence especially when we just trust in the routine of life.
I can’t focus on thinking about anything but my life with Claddagh, right now. I go to distract myself with topics I generally find interesting and they have no allure. An emotional cord has been ripped from my chest and I wonder how I will ever be able to fill the obvious hole in my heart. I don’t want another dog. I want my dog.
I am something different than I was two days ago. Now I am “dogless.” It feels wrong. So much of my personal identity was shared with this companion animal. I am caught at an emotional crossroads that I’ve been to before. Do I shut myself down and wall myself off as I have in so many human relationships, or do I see this as an opportunity to grow and change and to better understand and appreciate the various wavelengths that love can exist within?
I’d like to to believe I will follow the latter. I suppose I need to explore what this means for my human relationships. Obviously the depth that I feel about this situation can not be ignored and I think that my willingness to dive those depths can be intimidating to the humans around me.
See, even though I am making this outpouring about a dog, these feelings are universal with any sort of significant loss. We come from a history of people distracting themselves from their pain, and I find pain unavoidable. I always have, but I believe in the Spirit of things and that Spirit always reminds me that everything is temporary and that things can always get better but one must have a willingness to believe that Truth in order to take advantage of it’s reality.
Claddagh brought to my life more depth than can ever be articulated. We didn’t need words because our souls were in constant conversation. My writing was able to take on even more depth because of Claddagh being there as an influence in my perception of the world, and because it was amazing to try and imagine the world through her eyes specifically when she was at play in nature, or when she would just stare at me for minutes on end.
She was a reflection of my soul. My soul mate. It seems rare to find anything or anyone in the world that you would want to covet forever. I am hopeful that I won’t have to wait another twenty-seven years to begin another journey like I had with Claddagh. I am hopeful that the depths of whatever is to be, extends ever further than I could dream or imagine.
I think if you really love and adore someone, you should consider taking on their best attributes. If I were to take on the best attributes of Claddagh, I would be more excited for everything that life has to offer. I would make each person I am with, feel like the most important person in the room by giving them my undivided attention. I would wait to eat more meals with company. I would go for a ride for no good reason more often especially if someone just wanted the company.
My life over the last six years has become quite isolating, and Claddagh took the brunt of that. We went from fairly nomadic to completely stagnant. Over the six years I just slowly stopped doing the things that we enjoyed most together because nature seemed so far away. We aged and got lazy and uncomfortably comfortable together. But, we were together, every single day.
What a great partner. What an amazing friend.
Sometimes you meet someone new, and you just instantly know that you will be friends. You are not sure why, or what it is you have in common, but something flows between you that is almost effortless, and it is like a breath of fresh air in a world full of stifling pollution.
Usually it happens at “just the right time.” “Just when you need it most.” You may even feel “saved.”
Is Dog, God?
I’ve been seeking some sort of salvation my whole life. Mostly I want to be saved from being lonely. Lonely isn’t just a word, though; it is a big concept. It’s definition isn’t even vast until you start researching the synonyms… “godforsaken” is my favorite.
Godforsaken! It sounds pretty profound but it breaks down to “forlorn, desolate, miserable,” basically Emotional Shitsville in a country called Isolation.
I’ve come to accept that I don’t think like a mass majority of people, and that can be scary for both parties. Words are steeped in various meanings and history has shown that words are manipulated and it isn’t rare to rule with an Iron Fist. “A certain amount of violence is needed to keep them in line”- sort of mentality that I am way too familiar with.
I’ve written five chapters thus far. It’s time to talk about my failures as a human. My dog has been gone for 24 hours. I’ve been unable to censor myself online about this journey. The only thing I hope to gain from it, is a living record for myself and anyone who cares for whatever reason. I haven’t been perfect, and none of us are. Is a dog God with such unconditional love?
Have you ever just brushed someone away, and said, “No, not now?”
Or, maybe had a bad day and then poured all that anger on to an unsuspecting person?
Yeah. I do. I think that this is an unavoidable byproduct of life if you don’t become aware of it. One of the shittiest feelings in the world is when you know you harmed someone else.
In the beginning, both Claddagh and I had our own quirks. Her nervous behavior and my own anxiety would clash and being the dominate in the situation, sometimes I would take it out on her aggressively. The worst thing she ever did was chew on stuff that she shouldn’t and occasionally steal my food and coffee, if left unattended. I didn’t get mad a her about that stuff… I would express aggression toward her when other things were going wrong in my life, and she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
One day I had a melt down and she really took the brunt of it. Afterward I felt so guilty and ashamed, so much so that I consulted friends about finding her a new home. I didn’t deserve her. That feeling never left me. I didn’t deserve her affection and love, because I did the one thing that you should never do, which is fly off the handle and harm someone you love. Somehow in that large heart of hers, she always forgave and came back to my side.
She was able to see the intangible sadness that had always existed in me. She knew that there was a certain sense of Godforsaken loneliness inside that she wouldn’t be able to fully fix for me, she was a willing “band-aid.”
That is the interesting thing about animals, their senses tell them so much about their world, yet they can’t articulate the depth of their experience to us in ways that we can relate. So we find middle ground that makes us both feel good. That was the goal anyway, so any deviation from that goal feels like devastation.
I’d like to say that I never got mad at Claddagh again, but incidences did arise. I was never as aggressive with her again, as the time I thought I should re-home her but that didn’t matter. I hated expressing anger at her because I knew above all that she was just a pure spirit.
Today was day two of waking up without her. I slept in until noon just to avoid the reality and because writing all of this out and drinking vodka is very tiresome. I still want to cry but I feel resistance. My eyes go through patches of cloudiness that I can’t seem to rub away. I know I am dehydrated. I just want my dog.
Here are some weird facts about my Claddagh;
1.) She never, ever would shit on the trail. She would always find a place off trail to do her business, and I thought that was super respectable.
2.) She never once peed or pooped in the house. Not one accident like that.
3.) One time she got sick in my car, she purposely puked in the removable cup holder. Another time she got sick in the barn loft and made sure to puke on the tile and not on the carpet.
If a dog could be considerate, I think that these three facts really represent that about her. She knew that I could get into stressful states, and it’s like she did everything she could to not make that worse in me. She knew that if she stayed out of the way, that I would come to her in defeat and just hold her and cry.
It took a while for us to learn that in each other. When to walk away, to calm down so that everything could be handled with more patience and decorum. No doubt these are useful attributes with all living beings, and Claddagh held space for me to work on cultivating those traits.
In twenty four hours, I am missing attributes Claddagh had that I took for granted; from catching pesky flies and mosquitoes, to not helping me finish the last quarter of the hamburger… just weird small things you don’t think much about. Last night I was eaten up by bugs, and I made myself sick by finishing the last of the burger because it seemed somehow wrong to throw it into the trash. I just sat looking back and forth and the burger and the empty spot on the floor where Claddagh would be patiently waiting for her portion.
She could have food sitting in her bowl all day, and yet she would wait to eat until I was eating. I wish I was as good of a human, as she was as a dog.
In any relationship there is compromise. Especially if you are living together. I only had a handful of info when it came to Claddagh/IMA/Pasha’s past. She was found and surrendered on a Reservation. She may or may not be spayed. She had BB’s or some sort of shrapnel scattered on various parts of her body. She was picked up by a person who already had four dogs, and kept Claddagh separate because the situation was “iffy.”
I always got the feeling she was raped by another dog. She was very concerned about other canines getting in that area and sniffing around. She seemed somewhat evolved when it came to assessing another dogs intentions. I use to joke that she was a lesbian who only liked fixed males and females, because they were less of a threat.
I don’t actually know, but this is the feeling I got from watching her behavior. She wasn’t a “Dog’s Dog.” She was a PuppyCat that wanted to be Human. Okay, I know we anthropomorphize animals and I have a vivid imagination, but something told me she was no run of the mill dog when it came to social graces.
She didn’t want to fight, but she was willing to defend herself. Mostly she wanted to play but found it hard to find other dogs who know the rules. The dogs who knew the rules were dogs of friends. We, as a group, had subconsciously created a frame work for a dog community. The people who had dogs, were much like me. Safety first! Good Friendly Play!
I haven’t heard Claddagh’s voice in over twenty four hours. I am restraining myself from running outside to call her in. I keep making attentive notices that the scratching I hear on the concrete, is not her toe nails. My neighborhood is significantly more quiet without the dog barking battles over the fence. Brody gives it a go and then gives up after a bit. I guess it isn’t as fun without a friend. Now it’s just one tiny dog on one side of the fence, and a bigger, louder dog on the other. Who knows… maybe Brody is telling the neighborhood dogs that there will be one less voice in the mix of calls that saturate the air at any time of day. One less shit pile to smell.
I think Claddagh had a prerogative of fun. I never felt like I could rely on her to protect me. I never wanted to put her in situations that might lead to harm. I would avoid situations like that at all costs, especially after the dognapping incident.
She would be with me four years before she could look me straight in the eyes. It would be just as long before she learned or discovered how to bark.
My friend Cameron and I were on a camp out. Claddagh and I had camped together many times before this. She would follow along quietly when I played “ninja in the forest.” Taking her collar off so that the jingle of her tags wouldn’t distract other animals. We would sneak up on loud camp sites and check them out from the perimeter and then hike back to our camp. We would try and trail deer. I was secretly training her for the apocalypse.
Anyway Claddagh, Cameron and I go on a camp out. And into the darkness of night we sit around the fire, and Claddagh stirs. She walks out about ten feet from the fire, her ears peaked and moving around like satellite dishes. She makes her first attempt at barking, her voice cracking like a teenage boy during puberty. She seems shocked at the noise coming from her own mouth. I hear coyotes in the distance. Claddagh gets a hang for this new call, and she rolls with it, barking her ever loving head off. I am amused and astounded… I thought I had a “barkless dog.” She proved me wrong while simultaneously slipping into a whole new maturity. Still, she never manifested into a physical protector. We were battling a spiritual thing, and her physical body obviously took the brunt of effect.
Claddagh rarely looked “happy.” In all reality both her and I suffer from Resting Bitch Face. It looks pensive, introspective, concerned, and perhaps a little distraught. Upon meeting, we both knew that we came with baggage, but it didn’t matter, it was “for better or worse.”
I never felt “safer” for her being there, but I did feel a concern of care that made me utilize all of my senses in order to keep us both safe. Intuition and psychic bond were paramount in our relationship, probably even more so than many human relationships. We bared every season in almost every condition, side by side. I would spend my last dollars on food for her and go hungry. She was always a good visitor, and no one ever told us that we couldn’t come back.
I think back to Kelty Krumb. I think about how he was the last dog to persuade me into having a dog of my own. How he eased me into dealing with animal hair in every nook and cranny of house and home. I think he would have liked Claddagh. I think about how my heart broke when I learned he was gone, and how much that must have hurt his owner. I think about how amazing a dog can be and how if they are amazing enough, they will convince other people to become dog owners by setting an almost unreachable height when it comes to canine perfection as assumed by humans.
Claddagh did that to people. People who had never had a dog before, became enamored by her very quickly. Her perfection would settle in the imagination of those who dreamed what it may be like to have a dog. I didn’t hesitate to tell people that it was years in the making by observation and appreciation. I told them that she was with me everyday, and that my life continued to be unconventional in order to facilitate the reality we were living. Most times people shrugged off that part. They thought they could just go all willy nilly to a shelter and find a gem.
That seemed to be a rare case. My dog was with me ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. She sat in a car 6 hours a day some days. But, when she got out of the car we went on adventures. Most times it was nature, other times it was urban; she became well versed in various environments, around different people. She would sidle up next to almost anyone, but building dog relationships was harder.
She wasn’t ordinary. She was extraordinary.